Missing Link looked more like a chimp or gorilla than man according to researchers

Scientists have long looked for what many call the missing link, the ancient ancestor to humans that covers the gap between the rise of modern man and monkeys. Researchers led by a team from UC San Francisco have found indication that show common ancestors looked a lot like chimps or a gorilla.

Clues to how this ancient ancestor of man lived come from the shape of their shoulders. According to the team, the shape of the shoulder indicates that these ancient humans left forests and utilized tools. The researchers say that shoulder shape tracks changes in early human behavior that are linked to reduced climbing and increased tool use.

Researchers believe that humans split from the closest African ape ancestor in genus Pan 6-7 million years ago. Shoulder shape of Africa apes has a trowel-shaped blade and a handle-like spine that points the joint with the arm up and toward the skull, giving the ape an advantage when climbing or swinging through branches of trees.

In monkeys, the scapular spine is more pointed downward and the team says that is even more pronounced in humans indicating stone tool making and high-speed throwing. Researchers discovered that the shape of modern human shoulders is unique in that we share the lateral orientation with orangutans and the scapular blade shape with Africa apes. Scientists researching the missing link between ape and man looked at early human species known as Australopithecus and found their shoulders are an intermediate between African apes and humans. Their shoulder shape indicates that the species engaged in tree climbing and the use of stone tools.

SOURCE: Dailymail